MANILA, Philippines — Following a record performance in 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is heading toward the new year with optimism and vigor to help advance the national government’s vision of robust economic growth in the years ahead.
“2023 was a record year for the SEC, as we instituted improvements in the ease of doing business in the Philippines t hrough our digitalization efforts, ramped up our financial literacy campaign to empower and protect investors, and explored new ways to boost the capital market,” SEC chairperson Emilio Aquino said.
“We are optimistic as we approach the commissio n’s 88th year this 2024, and remain committed to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s vision of a prosperous, inclusive and resilient society,” he added.
In 2023, the SEC was steadfast in upholding its mandate of championing ease of doing business, capital market development, investor protection and good corporate governance, marked by several local and international accolades that affirmed its role as the country’s business and investor champion.
The SEC received several awards, citations, recognitions and accreditations for the programs and reforms it implemented in 2023.
In October, the Philippines was recognized for having one of the best company registration systems in the world—the commission’s Electronic Simplified Proce ssing of Application for Registration of Company (eSPARC)—during the annual conference of the Corporate Registers Forum in Malta.
Launched in 2021, eSPARC reduced the time needed to register a company from 34 to three days. Its subsystem, the One-day Submission and Electronic Registration of Companies, allows applicants to register a company in as fast as one minute and 14 seconds, from the start of the application to the receipt of a digital certificate of incorporation.
This record processing time has earned the SEC several recognitions for improving the ease of doing business (EODB) in the country. In December, the Commission was recognized by the Anti-Red Tape Authority for enhancing the reg ulatory landscape in the country through its EODB programs.
Mobile payments service GCash also recognized the digitalization programs of the SEC, conferring the commission with the Excellence in Digital Transformation Award during the GCash Digital Excellence Awards in December.
Aquino’s commitment to leading the SEC toward a digital-first world was likewise recognized by research and consultancy firm Mansmith & Fielders, Inc., which named him the first ever Public Sector Innovator in the third annual Mansmith Innovation Awards.
Meanwhile, SEC Commissioner Kelvin Lester Lee was named among the Asia 200 Digital Leaders in the Spark Digital Leaders Awards in Hong Kong, for his contributions to the digital transformation landscape in Southeast Asia.
Efforts toward promoting sustainability in the corporate sector earned further praise in the global stage.
For the third consecutive year, the SEC received the Global Good Governance (3G) Advocacy and Commitment to Corporate Governance Award from London-based Cambridge International Finance Advisory (Cambridge IFA).
In addition, Cambridge IFA conferred the 3G Championship Award in ESG Practices to the SEC for championing emerging technologies and sustainable growth strategies while being mindful of their impact on society and aspiring for a better future.
Locally, the SEC was among the companies that received the Circle of Excellence Award for Sustainability during the Asia CEO Awards 2023.
The SEC also continued to be a leader in sustainable finance, as evidenced by the $10.01 billion in ASEAN Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds issued by Philippine companies from January to September 2023.
The amount accounted for 24% of the total $41.07 billion worth of GSS bonds issued in the entire region during the same period.
With its commitment to sustainable finance, the SEC, through SEC commissioner McJill Bryant Fernandez, was appointed as vice-chair-cum-rapporteur in the 40th session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting.
The appointment also reflected the commission’s leadership and advocacy in sustainability reporting marked by the ISAR Honours it received in 2019 and 2022 from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
In addition, the SEC renewed its membership in the ASEAN Taxonomy Board, under the auspices of the ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting and jointly driven by the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum, the ASEAN Insurance Regulators’ Meeting, the ASEAN Senior Level Committee on Financial Integration and ASEAN Working Committee on Capital Market Development, in recognition of the commission’s leadership in the promotion of sustainable finance.
Given his work in advancing sustainable finance as supervising commissioner of the SEC Markets and Securities Regulation Department, Lee was conferred with the GRIT-ESG Changemakers Award by the ESG World Summit & GRIT Awards.
The commission’s openness to innovative capital and investment markets also earned its leadership recognitions.
Lee was Asia’s Most Admirable Young Leader, according to the Asia Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Awards, as well as a Gold Stevie recipient for Thought Leader of the Year during the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.
In addition, Lee was given the following awards for his work in advancing financial technology: Tech Policy Advocate, conferred by Chartered Discipline Management Consultancy in the 2023 Philippine Digital Innovation Awards; Most Outstanding Contribution to Digital Innovation during the AI and Blockchain Conference 2023 organized by Artificial Intelligence Blockchain and Cryptocurrency; and Outstanding FinTech Regulatory and Innovation Leader, awarded by the Asian FinTech Academy.
The SEC bolstered the integrity of the financial system and the business sector through adherence to international standards and practices.
This year saw the recertification of its ISO 9001:2015 compliance, for the commission’s sustained adherence to the international standard for its quality management system covering all core services across its main and extension offices in Baguio, Tarlac, Legazpi, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga, with zero nonconformity.
The Commission on Audit (COA), meanwhile, gave the SEC an unmodified opinion for its financial statements in 2022, marking the fifth consecutive year of receiving a good housekeeping mark from COA.
The Presidential Communications Office also recognized the SEC for its promotion of the public’s right to know, being one of the top performing agencies in the implementation of the Freedom of Information Program in 2023.
In parallel, Aquino received several awards for his commitment to promote transparency and accountability in the government.
Among them is the Outstanding Professional of the Year award in the field of accountancy, conferred by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for his “exceptional achievements, service and constitutions in his field of professional endeavor.”
The PRC award was accompanied by a Special Citation for Aquino for being one of the top five nominees for the Eric Nubla Excellence Award, which acknowledges the achievement and service of professionals who excel in their respective fields of professional endeavor.
The PRC Board of Accountancy, in partnership with the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, also conferred to Aquino the Accountancy Centenary Award of Excellence, recognizing him as one of the Philippines’ Top 100 Certified Public Accountants for his “unquestionable integrity, contributions to the accountancy profession and participation in national development.”
Editor’s Note: This press release is sponsored by the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is published by the Advertising Content Team that is independent from our Editorial Newsroom.
MANILA, Philippines — Kapuso star Alden Richards revealed that he’s sick and tired of the rumors regarding his gender identity.
In his interview with Toni Gonzaga, Alden said he has no time to deal about gender issues.
“Tingin n’yo ganun? Fine! Tingin n’yo bading, fine. Tingin ko nga minsan ‘pag may ganu’ng mga rumor, wala na bang iba?” he said.
“’Yung judgment call sa gender ng mga kalalakihan sa industriya natin, ang dali. Just because of that fact. Pero ako po, parang… pupunta ba ako sa route na dahil gusto ko na naman mag-please?
“I have my life right now. I’m happy perfectly with what I have, what I’m able to do at the moment. I seize every opportunity, sayang? There’s time for that.”
Alden said he’s glad that he has new friends now, just like Julia Montes and Coco Martin.
“To the people who know me, like really know me, my friends, and right now, most especially ‘yan si Julia, Julia Montes, direk Irene (Villamor), and si Coco. Nagulat ako, with just one project, we instantly clicked. To the point na they became part of my life, and I became part of their lives,” he said.
“Ang sarap lang sa pakiramdam na you get to meet authentic people pa rin pala. And those people, I tend to treasure,” he added.
Alden celebrated his 32nd birthday last January 2. — Video from Toni Gonzaga Studio YouTube channel
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